Rigid Job Requirements Can Miss Great Candidates

Rigid Job Requirements Can Miss Great Candidates
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A successful hiring strategy hinges on a solid yet practical job description. It’s tempting for companies to recycle old descriptions or hastily compile a list of unrealistic and sometimes unnecessary job requirements. Still, this shortcut can lead to costly delays and missed opportunities in the hiring process. Investing time upfront to refine the job description streamlines the process and yields better results. In this article, we explained the pitfalls and drawbacks of exaggerating the job requirements on the job listing description and how it has a negative impact on potential candidates.

Defining Job Requirements

One common stumbling block we’ve observed is the challenge companies face in defining the position and its requirements. It’s crucial to clearly understand the role’s purpose and how it aligns with the company’s strategic goals. Just as candidates struggle to articulate their experiences, hiring managers can sometimes find it challenging to define their open positions clearly.

A frequent pitfall in job descriptions is the tendency to narrow the requirements excessively, fixating on finding the “perfect” candidate who ticks every box. While seeking candidates with excellent skills is essential, hiring managers must also distinguish between “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”

The key is to gather input from stakeholders to determine the essential attributes for success in the role. These are the non-negotiables, the skills, and experiences listed as “required” with no room for compromise. Setting these parameters in advance saves time and ensures a more focused search.

Consider a scenario from last year with a client. One of their “must-have” requirements was experience building visual dashboards using Power BI. However, during our discussions, the client mentioned team members who excelled in similar roles despite lacking this specific experience. This revelation clarified that while dashboard-building expertise would be beneficial, it wasn’t mandatory. By defining this earlier, we could have presented more qualified candidates sooner, reducing time and costs.

Consequences of Rigid Job Requirements

We’ve also had situations where not putting thought into the job requirements not only costs the company time and money but also the best candidate.

Our client had an open position and the requirement of a 4-year degree.  We quickly identified and screened what we thought was an ideal candidate for the client.  However, since the client was very clear that a degree was required, we did not present the candidate.  Deeper into the search, the client relaxed the degree requirement; however, the original candidate was a rockstar and went off the market quickly.  The client got a great candidate, but not one with the skillset of the one without the degree.

Rigid requirements can also overlook candidates with transferable skills or growth potential. Candidates willing to learn and adapt can bring immense value to a company, even if they only meet some requirements on paper.

Common Job Requirements

These are the common job requirements among all industries, however, bear in mind that each position has its own requirements.

  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Professional licenses, accreditations, and certifications
  • Specific knowledge
  • Personal traits and attributes
  • Languages
  • Physical ability

Including a “wish list” in the job description is acceptable, but companies should prioritize core competencies and remain open to candidates who demonstrate potential and a willingness to learn.Striking a balance between job requirements and flexibility attracts a broader range of talent and leads to more effective hiring decisions. Remember, the perfect candidate may have a higher price tag, so be prepared to meet their compensation expectations if you go that route.

If you are looking for qualified candidates to fill your open positions, please contact us now. We have a pool of top-talent candidates looking for advancement in their careers, no matter how specialized or challenging the position may be.

Match Point Recruiting is a top executive search firm with over 40 years of experience, helping businesses find the right candidates, and helping talented, career-minded professionals looking for executive career job positions.

Contact us.